Friday, 21 September 2012

Wormholt Park - the first hundred years by Peter Trott

Local resident, Peter Trott, has written a book about the forgotten history of Wormholt Park in Shepherd’s Bush. The book has been published by local residents group, Friends of Wormholt Park.

When it opened in 1911, Wormholt Park was at the heart of community life. Old photographs reveal the story of festivals, galas, sports and the role the park played in the war effort during World War II.

The book explains the meaning of the name Wormholt, the combination of the old English Worme or Wyrm and Holt indicates it was once a snake infested wood. The park opened on 27th June 1911 and an open air lido was opened alongside the park in 1923. A bandstand was built in the park in 1931 and a bowling green was opened in 1936.

The Second World War saw the park dug up and turned into allotments and shelter trenches. The post war years saw the rebirth of the park when it became the centre of the community with school sports days, grand Bank Holiday galas and even a giant tented theatre.

By the early 1980s the park was in decline and the swimming pool and the bowling green had closed. When the new century began the park looked sad and neglected. In 2009 a small group of friends got together to campaign for better maintenance and facilities and to encourage greater use of the park by local residents. Word of their work spread and the Friends of Wormholt Park were formed in 2011.

The author, Peter Trott, has lived in Shepherds Bush all his life and is fascinated by local history. Peter has spent many hours in the archives unearthing old photographs and put on displays for local street parties to celebrate the Golden Jubilee in 2002, the Royal Wedding in 2011 and the Diamond Jubilee this year. Peter was asked to help with the park’s centenary celebrations in September 2011. Peter’s history timeline and photographic display proved so popular that the Friends of Wormholt Park asked him to write a book about the park. A year later the book has been published.

The Friends are a voluntary group and Peter gave his own time researching and writing the book. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Friends group. Books are available from local outlets in Shepherds Bush displaying posters.

The launch party for the book was held on Thursday 20th September 2012 at the Hummingbird Café. The Friends group would like to thank local estate agent Winkworth for sponsoring the launch.

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